In the novel The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerland, Fitzgerald uses many symbolisms to connect the characters with each other or to an object. Throughout this novel he uses different symbols to portray the values of people in the 1920’s era. In this essay, I will discuss the Valley of Ashes, colours, and the green light.
The Valley of Ashes is grey, it contains poverty and death. The Valley of Ashes is where people are seeking wealth but it is impossible for these people to achieve this “Wilson smiled faintly. ‘No, I could make some money on the other… I’ve been here too long. I want to get away. My wife and I want to go West.” (Fitzgerland, ) People who live in the Valley of Ashes, they have tried to live an American dream but have failed and has ended up in this grey area. In between West Egg and New York it is described as, “a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.” (Fitzgerland,12) The valley of ashes shows the difference between the working class and the wealthy. It is located between two rich areas “West Egg and New York the motor road hastily joins the railroad and runs beside it for a quarter of a mile, so as to shrink away from a certain desolate area of land. This is a valley of ashes a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke” (Fitzgerland,12) The ashes are covered all over this city and the people who live in the valley of ashes have come to accept the gloomy state of where they live. The upper class do not understand the problems the lower class go through, when Tom met up with Myrtle in the valley of ashes, there was a difference between both of them Tom is of the wealthy class and Myrtle is of the lower class, Toms wealth shows how he treats Myrtle because he is wealthy he is powerful than her. There aren’t positive things that occur in the valley of ashes. There are incidents like the death of Myrtle, due to Gatsby and Daisy careless driving. “so we drove on toward death through the cooling twilight” (Fitzgerland, ) The valley of ashes is shown as a miserable, dismal place, the way it is described showed there were no colours, it is a desolated atmosphere. The valley of ashes is in between two rich areas, in order to reach New York it is needed to cross through the valley of ashes, most people do not make it through the valley of ashes. Within the valley of ashes hovers a giant billboard, of the Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg it is an advertisement for optometrist “but above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of doctor T.J. Eckleburg.” (Fitzerland, ) This billboard is located in amongst the “bleak”, and “dusty” it is centralized between East Egg, West Egg, and New York. These eyes watch over everything, many things occur in front of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg. For instance, Tom Affair, When Gatsby drives Nick to meet someone. George Wilson believes that these eyes are the eyes of God. George Wilson realizes that his wife Myrtle is having an affair “I told her she might fool me but she couldn’t fool God.” The God Wilson refers to is T.J. Eckleburg. The frown of the Doctor T.J. Eckleburg looks down on the valley of ashes to say the American Dream is a lie. Life is a terrible place in the Valley of Ashes which the eyes frown upon all day.